Reddit Reddit reviews Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics)

We found 26 Reddit comments about Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics). Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics)
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26 Reddit comments about Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics):

u/runeaway · 20 pointsr/Stoicism

> I feel like I don't stand for anything, I don't have an identity I feel confident in.

That requires a lot of self-reflection, thinking about what you value and how/if you act according to those values.

> the person I was in high school seems alien to me now.

In a few years, you're probably going to feel the same way about the you right now.

> in the age of social media it feels like everyone's eyes are on me

Most people are too concerned with what other people think about them to spend much time thinking about you.

> I can't control what they think of me

It's good that you realize that.

> but I can't help but feel like most see me as a goofy, disinterested nice guy

Maybe they do, maybe they don't. There's no way for you to know what other people think about you. Even if they say they think you're goofy, there's no way to know if they're telling the truth. If you choose to believe everyone else thinks you're goofy, you can do that, but it's a choice you've decided to make. Your time is better spent trying to be the sort of person you want to be than on worrying about what other people think of you.

> When I push away those fears I instead become an asshole and don't think before I speak.

That's another choice you make. No one forces you to speak without thinking. No one forces you to act like an asshole. If you want to be a kind, virtuous person, that's in your control.

> I've read Meditation and checked out the sidebar on the topics but I'm having trouble implementing the ideas into my daily life

We generally advise that new people do not start with Meditations, as it wasn't intended as an entry point to Stoicism. It's the working journal of an advanced student, and Marcus assumes the reader is already familiar with all of the concepts.

Here's a short list of recommended places to start:

  • Stoicism and the Art of Happiness by Donald Robertson is a practical introduction on what Stoicism is and how to implement it in your life.

  • Epictetus - Discourses, Fragments, Handbook translated by Robin Hard is a book containing the lectures of the Stoic teacher Epictetus. Marcus Aurelius studied Epictetus specifically and quotes him several times in Meditations.

  • Seneca's Dialogues and Essays, especially the essays "On The Shortness of Life" and "On the Happy Life" and Letters from a Stoic contain Seneca's useful writings on a number of topics and is another popular place to begin learning about Stoicism.
u/Leveraged_Breakdowns · 7 pointsr/FinancialCareers

First, actually find a therapist.


Second, since you probably won't actually find a therapist (even though you should), below are a few strategies that got me through my roughest patches in investment banking and private equity:

  • Life will challenge you at every corner, a new career will also be stressful in its own right
  • Maximizing every decision leads to undue stress, learn to satisfice (Barry Schwartz TED Talk on the Paradox of Choice)
  • Learn to control your mindset to identify and note negative thought patterns (Headspace teaches Mindfulness -- try it for forty lessons and be amazed at your improved perspective)
  • Treat yourself to purposeful rest every day. You probably don't have rest time every day. But when you have a bit of a weekend or a couple hours before bed, set aside a strict portion of that time for purposeful relaxation. Don't half-work -- watch TV, play video games, do something stupid and unproductive that makes you happy and relaxed.
  • Stay fit, even if it's a couple core exercises, some foam rolling, and some stretching
  • These books helped me: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Zorba the Greek, Seneca: Letters from a Stoic, Truth in Comedy
u/Stoic_MOTD · 7 pointsr/Stoicism

MOTD #28: "A consciousness of wrongdoing is the first step to salvation."

(Previous) // (Next One)

Seneca’s Letters are a must read for Stoics. Amazon Link

Want to read more books on Stoicism? checkout these lists: r/Stoicism’s the Stoic Reading List | Ryan Holliday’s Lists 1 & 2Goodreads

As always if you have a favorite part of Meditations or want to see any other stoic passage in future posts, please feel free to message me or comment anytime. Anyways, have a nice day/night where ever you happen to be… All the best, Chris.

u/ludefisk · 6 pointsr/Stoicism

Well, Seneca, for instance, took 254 pages.

And, seriously - if you're concerned with this sub being short on brevity, I sincerely think that's a bummer. There's a lot of great, complicated thoughts on stoicism that can't be contained in the bumper sticker quotes that always make it to the front page here.

u/Moontouch · 4 pointsr/philosophy

For those interested in Seneca, I can highly recommend this superb collection. Reading him played a major part in sparking my interest in philosophy.

u/ericxfresh · 3 pointsr/BettermentBookClub

off the top of my head:

Meditations, with The Inner Citadel as a reader

Letters from a Stoic

A Guide to the Good Life by Irvine

Do The Work by Pressfield as well as The War of Art by Pressfield

Managing Oneself by Ducker

Man's Search for Meaning by Frankl

What Predicts Divorce by Gottman

Nicomachean Ethics

Models by Manson seems to be popular on reddit

So Good They Can't Ignore You by Newport, as well

I'm currently reading Triumphs of Experience by Vaillant and find it insightful.

u/CrimsonCuntCloth · 3 pointsr/minimalism

Thanks for sharing your story.

As far as book recommendations go: (Marie Kondo)[] gets a lot of praise, although I haven't actually read her myself (There was an interesting episode of the Tim Ferris podcast featuring her that was some good listening, and I like the systematic approach to decluttering).

Slightly tangentially: stoic philosophy fits well with minimalism, with other related ideas about how to live. Both Seneca's Letters and Epictetus' Handbook are good introductions.

“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor. ”
― Seneca

u/GreenWizard2 · 2 pointsr/Stoicism

I have read through two different versions of Seneca's Letters. The first version I read was Letters from a Stoic. I thought that it was decent, even though it only contains a selection of Seneca's Letters. It got me interested enough in Seneca to seek out more of his work.

I then read through the Loeb editions of Seneca's moral essays, and while I did enjoy them for the most part, I found the translation to be a little dry, perhaps old fashioned, for my tastes, and I ended up returning them. I also cannot read Latin, so having Latin on the reverse side of the page was of little benefit to me besides the coolness factor.

Note that Seneca's works are for the most part divided into 3 sections, his Letters (Epistles), his Essays (Dialogues), and his Tragedies. This confused me for a while as I was not sure what I would be getting with certain books.

I second version of Seneca's Letters that I read through was Letters on Ethics and in my opinion the translation is excellent. To quote the book itself "the translations are designed to be faithful to the Latin while reading idiomatically in English". The footnotes are also extensive and insightful. This is however, potentially one of the most expensive versions of Seneca's letters you will find out there, so you might want to try and find it at a book store first and read through it. Amazon's "Look Inside" does let you read through a large portion of the Introduction as well as the first few letters, so you could try to use that to gauge your interest.

That being said, Seneca is currently my favorite of the 3 Roman Stoics to read, however I do enjoy reading from all 3 Roman Stoic authors for different reasons.

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/selfimprovement

Virginia Satir is one of my favorites, I also find the Stoics helpful, but they tend to take a very different approach.

u/jermizzle · 2 pointsr/nursing

Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics)

Stoicism is a philosophy that helps counter your emotions. In turn, keeping you more level headed especially in dire situations

u/articleofpeace · 2 pointsr/Fitness

It depends. If you're looking for personal reasons then you don't really need academic works: I'd stick to the main ancient figures - Zeno of Citium (the 3rd C philosopher, not to be confused with the 5th C presocratic Zeno of Elea), Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius. No complete work of Zeno's has survived so we're stuck with fragments, but there's a lot of Seneca (his Epistles, or 'Moral letters to Lucilius' are available for free in archaic but readable translation here) - there's a Penguin Classics collection of them too but it's incomplete so I wouldn't recommend it - but you could always pick that up for the better translations and just read the that are missing in the archaic online translation I linked above. On Epictetus the Discourses and Handbook as well as his fragments are collected in a new World Classics Epictetus: Discourses, Fragments, Handbook (which is very cheap: ~$7) and in a modern translation. I strongly recommend that. Marcus Aurelius you already have covered.

But there are probably some select academic works that might be useful to you:

  • Ierodiakonou, K. (1993), 'The Stoic division of philosophy', Phronesis 38:57–74.

  • Long A. A. (1978), 'Dialectic and the Stoic sage', in his Stoic studies, Cambridge, UK: CUP, 85–106.

  • Sellars, J. (2013), The art of living: The Stoics on the nature and function of philosophy^3, Bristol, UK: Classical.

    I've uploaded the PDFs of the two articles here.^[1][2] I can get away with this as educational under UK copyright laws - but you'll have to get the book yourself from your library because that isn't covered.

    If you get through all of that and still want more then feel free to PM me and I can point you in the right direction.
u/Sector17 · 1 pointr/minimalism

Seneca: Letters from a Stoic.
Short letters from Seneca, a wise Roman statesman and the tutor and political advisor of the Emperor Nero.

Really well written, poetic letters with many words of wisdom in them!

  • It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.
  • A great fortune is a great slavery.
  • Money, which ever since it began to be regarded with respect, has caused the ruin of the true honour of things; we become alternately merchants and merchandise, and we ask, not what a thing truly is, but what it costs
u/ctolsen · 1 pointr/philosophy
u/exmos_gf · 1 pointr/exmormon


Philosophy: Love of Wisdom.

I've found that the stoics, especially, are really great. The Greeks were constantly looking to answer the question of "How, then, should we live?" It's the same question that we look to answer as we turn away from a TSCC church, isn't it? You can read one of Seneca's "Letters from a Stoic" every day in place of scripture and get more out of it than you ever did from BoM.

u/illegalUturn · 1 pointr/Stoicism

I have Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics)

But there are only letters 90 and 91.

u/Pithy_Lichen · 1 pointr/AskMen

Epictetus and Seneca are the two other big names in stoicism, although I'll cop to not having read either (or Marcus Aurelius - my reading list is seriously backed up).

u/Catafrato · 1 pointr/LucidDreaming

This is a very good video introduction to Stoicism.

The main ancient Stoic books that have survived are Marcus Aurelius's Meditations, Epictetus's Discourses and Enchiridion, which is basically a summary of the Discourses, and Seneca's Letters to Lucilius and Essays. All these editions are relatively new translations and, in Seneca's case, abridged, but they will give you an idea of what Stoicism is about. I suggest you first read the Enchiridion (it is no longer than 40 pages) and then the Meditations (around 150-200 pages), and then dig deeper if you get interested.

There are other ancient sources, and quite a lot of modern work is being done currently, but those are the ones I suggest you begin with.

Then there are very active modern Stoic communities, like /r/Stoicism, the Facebook group, and NewStoa, with its College of Stoic Philosophers, that lets you take a very good four month long course by email.

The great thing about Stoicism as a way of life is that it has neither the blind dogmatism of organized religion nor the ardent skepticism of atheism. It puts the soul back in the universe, in a way, and, on the personal level, empowers you to take responsibility for your actions and to take it easy with what you cannot control.

u/runit8192 · 1 pointr/minimalism

Seneca's Letters from a Stoic is a great philosophy book that has many suggestions on how to live a simple and fulfilling life. It was written ~2000 years ago, but it still blows me away at how relevant the material is to today. Here's the translation I have read:

u/suninabox · 1 pointr/philosophy

Just read Seneca Epistles 1 and Episltes 2.

These two include pretty much everything you'll find in Letters from a Stoic, which is one of the best books.

I highly recommend the letters on the Shortness of Life, On the Torment of Death, and On Rest and Restlessness.

You can pretty much ignore ignore anything he has to say about factual aspects of the universe, since by that time the Ionian scientific revolution had already started to fade, so there isn't much of value there, although Seneca tends to take a refreshing humility to the limits of knowledge, although occasionally he over steps the boundaries of what is reasonable to claim to know (specifically about the nature of "Nature").

u/MusicandWrestling · 1 pointr/short
u/Buffalo__Buffalo · 0 pointsr/philosophy

>For those interested in Seneca anybody ever, I can highly recommend this superb collection. Reading him played a major part in sparking my interest in philosophy.